Dudley doesn’t need to wait for June to use his first round pick

According to the latest weather report, it seems likely that the metro Atlanta area is looking at yet another round of frozen precipitation overnight. What this means of course is that on their way home tonight, the masses will flock to grocery stores and strip the shelves bare of milk and bread. That, plus tomorrow morning local insurance agents busy fielding claims from their clients who went slipping and sliding all over the roads…much like what we’ve seen during previous snow/ice events this winter.

But motorists in and around Atlanta have not been the only ones experiencing slippery conditions this winter. Indeed our Thrashers have been in the process of slip-sliding away from their winning ways of last fall. As of this morning, they we find they have wound up in the ditch with six other teams who currently do not hold a playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

Given the Carolina Hurricanes overtime loss in New Jersey, they now lead the Thrashers by one point and have two more games left on the schedule than have Atlanta. The rattling sound coming from behind is coming from the Buffalo Sabres who, thanks to their 7-4 win over Tampa Bay, are now three points south of us with four games in hand. Also, the Florida Panther remain within scratching distance…just six points behind the Thrashers having played three fewer games.

All this simply adds to the pucker factor that comes along with Atlanta’s current 5-11-5 slide, one that has seen them win only two…count them, one-two… games in regulation since December 20 of last year.

What it also underscores is the fact that Rick Dudley must do something…and quick…if his team is to regain it’s traction necessary to get out of the ditch and again motor down the road towards the playoffs.

Should the Thrashers use their first round draft pick to trade for needed help?

  • YES! If it helps get a proven commidity, do it! (72%, 133 Votes)
  • NO! The first round pick is more important than making the playoffs now! (28%, 53 Votes)

Total Voters: 186

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I past years, anytime the subject of trade deadline deals is breached in these parts, there are many in Thrasherville who quickly pipe up to insist that the organization should not “trade away the future” buy including certain prospects or the first round pick in the upcoming summer’s draft. While that’s made a great deal of sense in the past, I don’t necessarily hold fast to that rule now. As such, if a deal were to be had that could bring in much-needed help for the Thrashers…a top-six winger and/or help on the blueline…and in the package heading the other was is included our first round pick in June, I would have absolutely no problem with Dudley & Co pulling the trigger on it.

I my view, the Thrashers as an organization simply have to make the playoffs this season…or at least put forward every effort to do so. Eleven seasons coming and going with but one foray into the postseason and no wins to show for it will makes for quite a cranky fan base. And while most level-headed types out there understand that making moves are no guarantee of success in and of themselves, it’s clear that doing nothing at this time will almost certainly guarantee failure…again.

I know…I know…some of you are afraid that we might spend too much of our future currency for what amounts for a spring rental or that we’ll get “Zhitnik-ed” again. This is obviously understandable given this franchise is still walking with a limp from what happened to us around this time in 2007. But Rick Dudley is not Don Waddell and, as such, I have tried to put aside the fears of being burned once again by way of the GM pushing the panic button. However, I will note that any such trade package that involving our first-round draft pick should preferably be used to procure a player(s) who are signed at least through next season…or at the very least, one who will be an RFA this summer.

Regardless, standing pat prior to the trade deadline will simply not do…unless one is actually of the belief that the likes of Tim Stapleton, Fredrik Modin are the answer here. Given Zach Bogosian’s play for the better part of this year, one might easily add his name to that list as well.

What doing nothing of real consequence over the next two and a half weeks will also ensure is that Philips Arena will continue to look more and more like what the bread and milk aisles at Publix does just prior to the snow falling… empty and barren.

Of course, the same could be said of the words spoken by Bruce Levenson during previous town hall meetings in regards where the franchise finds itself and his appreciation of the paying customer’ concerns …but I digress.

In short, while first round draft picks are nice to have…especially when they come so early on…this time around the GM needs to be more concerned about not “trading away the present in light of the future” than the other way around. This Thrashers organ-I-zation has used up its grace period with their fans and their collective patience has met it’s end waiting for a future that seemingly never materializes. It’s time for those in charge to give them a new sense of hope. And I’m not talking hope for the “future”… but hope for the “now”.

If you want to think of it this way, by trading the first-rounder for a proven commodity, and it helps propel this team into the playoffs, then that’s a good way of using that pick without having to wait until this summer to do so. But doing nothing and possibly finishing south of the playoff line for the fourth year in a row and tenth time in eleven seasons… well, all that will get you is this…

pointing to the empty milk and bread aisle after it’s been emptied by the pre-snow panic

And that’s the way Philips Arena will look…snow or no snow…for a very long time.

By: Bill Tiller – AJC.com Thrashers Fan Blog

200 comments Add your comment

Old Time Hockey

February 10th, 2011
1:50 pm

Was Fisher worth a # 1 and conditional pick? 14 goals and 10 assists? Stats aren’t even as good as Peverly. Either of them worth a first?

Russian

February 10th, 2011
1:56 pm

QUESTION: DO we need Versteeg??? Do we have to trade him to Berg???
This is a stats for bothe player:
Versteeg:
Games – 51
Goal – 14
Assist – 21
+/- – -13
He is 5′10″ and 182 lbs. 24 years old
Salary – $3.1 – RFA after 2 years

Our Berg
Games – 45
Goal – 11
Assist – 18
+/- – -7
He is 6′00″ and 200 lbs. 23 years old
Salary – $0.9 – RFA

Once again: DO WE NEED HIM???
I am saying that I passed for him. Let him stay in Toronto.

LAC

February 10th, 2011
2:04 pm

I am at the point the only thing I want DUD dudley do is RESIGN, he is not up to the job or pressure.
Bring in a REAL GM and go from there. Heck Brenden would be my choice !!!!!

Tony C

February 10th, 2011
2:08 pm

OTH-’zactly. At this point I’m thinking Dudley’s best move is to walk on down to a practice and let everybody know what his plan is-those who buy in, you keep-those who want out-you sell high. I was hopeful about this squad’s playoff potential, still see us with an outside chance, but the players we lost to injury have been key and-here’s the thing-Ramsay’s system demands full-throttle effort by EVERY player EVERY shift. Too much lackadaisical play from guys who are accustomed to being #2 options that our club demands they be #1 options…and even if they won’t meet the demand they are STILL de facto #1 options, so if they’re cruising it really screws the whole thing up

BMF

February 10th, 2011
2:12 pm

Outstanding blog going today, all the blasts from the past chiming in was kiling me. Great names dropping. Don’t think we’ve heard from Kelly Buchberger or Ray Ferraro yet…perhaps their internet is down.

Great discussion regarding our tricky relationship with AHL Chicago and the do we or do we not trade a 1st rounder for immediate help. I’ve got some thoughts on both issues:

1. Alan R: really like your idea of getting our top prospects out of Chicago if they’re not getting the ice time they need to develop. Conflicts of interest there. Chicago wants to win and they want to do it their way, fine. I’d rather the coaching staffs in ATL and CHI be preaching from the same Bible but apparently that’s not the case, so yeah, I’m all for moving those kids to Gwinnett. The caliber of play isn’t Chicago but at least they’re close by and can have a much better learning experience. Is there any chance of ending our affiliation with the AHL Wolves? Can we hitch our wagon to another AHL franchise? Definitely worth looking into.
As for trading our 1st round pick for immediate help: NO. We most definitely DO need immediate help, and we have a gigantic asset at our disposal to do so, and that is all the freaking 18M of cap space that we have. Money we’re NOT spending. Ridiculous. Thrashers can’t take that money with them and put it into next season. Use it or lose it. I really believe we can pry some top talent off other teams if the ASG would just open the wallet a little. Surely they’re not stupid and so shortsighted that they can’t distinguish the value of a 1st round pick (for future value if we strike gold on a player) and cold hard cash, just laying in a bank account somewhere). I have no doubt we can get some big time help. Yeah, we might have to take on some overpayed players, but isnt’ that the whole point? Would you rather acquire a player, with a salary of about 5M (but he’s performing at a 1-2M a year rate), over just not acquiring anyone at all? If said 5M player makes you a better team today, and he can be had without giving away 1st rd pick or any young talent from your organization, then why not? All it will cost is money, that’s it. No Coburn-Zhitnik here, just me going to the store and buying a 20-30 goal winger. How much? Fine, pulling out my wallet. I’ll trade you my 2M player for your 5M player, or i’ll just take your 5M player so you dont’ have to pay him anymore. But whatever, I think we’d have done something by now. I know spending money isn’t the only key to building a good team, but it sure does help.

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
2:13 pm

Smoothie, re: 4:23 PM post yesterday, I always remind people what 6th seeds like Minnesota in 2003 and Calgary in 2004, and 8th seeds, like Edmonton in 2006, and 7th round seeds like Philly in 2010, Vancouver in 1994, Anaheim in 2003, and Buffalo in 1999, can do. The difference is … and let me be clear (Copyright, Barack Obama, 2008-eternity), is that I don’t think Atlanta can win a playoff series, as constructed, this year. It wouldn’t matter to me WHAT their seeding was. I think Atlanta could win a playoff game, perhaps. Is that worth losing a high-end 1st rounder for? Just to get off the Island before Columbus does??

Now, I hear what Glovesave29 is saying, I basically agreed with him with my post yesterday outlining my two (2) exceptions to the trading a 1st rounder rule. If the player we’re coughing up a 1st rounder for … is 22 or 23 or 24 years old, an RFA, who will remain an RFA until age 27, then that’s not so bad. You control a quality player for many years … that you OTHERWISE would not have had.

I still say we ought to look at some of the “bad contracts” that exist out there … and ask ourselves … “would any of these players make our roster BETTER?” GM’s want to ditch “bad contracts” in the worst kinda way. In general, “bad contracts” aren’t anything to which to aspire. But, if you can’t get a player of that caliber any other way … and you HAVE THE CAP SPACE … it’s something to consider. If some GM out there asked Chicago, “Whattaya want for Cristobal Huet?” Chicago might say, “Dinner at Applebees, a bag of pucks, and a 7th rounder.” If a GM asks, “And how much for Brian Campbell, that contract you’re STUCK WITH until he’s 40?” Chicago might say … “Can you dance the Charleston, while singing ‘La Marseillaise?’ If so, I believe we have a deal.” So, the question out there becomes … if you have NO GOALTENDING … is Cristobal Huet an upgrade? If you have incapable blueliners, does Brian Campbell improve your ON ICE product? Yes or no? Yes … or no?

Most teams are trying to win. And “bad contracts,” particularly ones that handcuff the team for YEARS to come, are absurd to consider. But for Atlanta, which doesn’t PRETEND to max out its cap every year, these ‘types’ of contracts are “quick fix” answers. All they really cost … is money. And maybe some ‘throw away’ draft picks that won’t amount to a hill of microbes on an ant hill in Africa.

R.Stroz says that the AS,LLC songbird signs, “Cheap, cheap, cheap.”

BMF

February 10th, 2011
2:26 pm

Brendan, I just posted a note (I think it’s hung up right now) but was making the same point. We can take on a bad contract or two, if it helps in the short-term, and all it would cost is money, not our young talent or 1st round pick. Just cold hard cash.

LAC

February 10th, 2011
2:27 pm

I don’t think Dud dudley has any plans… We have fallen on our collective face for a month now and all that happens is a couple callups… That AIN’T getting it done. Can he not see through his glasses ? But please remember, he is a “buddy” of Liar waddell, so that just might be an answer.

With questionable goaltending now rearing it’s ugly head, it looks bleak at the very very best.
I really have to agree NOBODY wants to play here for this group of liar owners. If we could get a commited owner, things would change and change FAST !

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
2:31 pm

Thank you, LAC. I’d choose “Red Light” as GM, with “Russ” as Associate GM, and “Rawhide” as a special consultant. I’d nominate “Sage of Bluesland” to keep the books, for he’d ATTACK them with the scrutiny that a proper audit deserves!!

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
2:34 pm

BMF, agreed. If it’s just money … that’s not so bad. Chances are, 8 years down the road, we’re looking at a cap that’s $70 million. A horrible contract like Brian Campbell’s probably wouldn’t impede an ownership group that is ‘committed to winning.’ And if it’s such an impediment, we stash it in the AHL, to blantly circumvent the cap, like the “rich” markets are doing now. (Wade Redden, $6.0 million, in the AHL affiliate.)

BMF

February 10th, 2011
2:42 pm

I’ve never liked how other clubs stash away salary in the AHL, basically giving rich teams a way to “cheat” the cap. Me thinks a way to curb that would be to be able to stash the player away, but say, only half of his salary. So, NYR would still be counting 3M of the 6M due to Redden against their cap instead of none of it. A good way to avoid that problem is to not sign players to terrible contracts, but I guess teams like the NYR just do ti anyways, and if it doesn’t work and the player in question doesn’t mind the time in the minors, then they still get all their money. Just the whole premise of that arrangement bugs me. Another idea would be to tax that stashed contract, sort of like a luxury tax that MLB puts on the high payroll team.

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
2:58 pm

I’ve got a better idea, still, BMF. Whatever the SALARY is … the CAP HIT is. No more “dollar cost averaging” to lessen the cap hit. And, finally, no “stashing” period, the end. You can cut the player, but you still have to pay him. That’s GM accountability, right there.

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
3:08 pm

BMF-the next collective bargaining agreement has to have better buy out terms than the current agreement. Redden’s contract is actually keeping him from playing in the NHL. I am sure the Rangers are not happy with it either.

Brendan – you would obviously be our legal guy.
Stroz-social director? Sgt at arms? Cowbell ringer?

LAC-Dudley doesn’t have the $$$ to play with or the prospects/picks to deal. Nashville on the other hand has the highest rated proscpects in the league, Poile can trade a pick because his cupboard is already full. Dudley is up against the wall through no falt of his own. Not sure who would step into this situation right now, all things considered.

Smoothie

February 10th, 2011
3:16 pm

What y’all are forgetting is Dudley has nothing to lose. If he trades the #1 to get a forward in here, and then gets fired, do you think he’ll be out of work long? He’ll always be able to scout. Obviously he is hamstrung by the lousy ASG and their tight-wad budget so I will not be surprised if Duds rolls the dice and tries to get this team in the playoffs and produce some additional revenues for those lousy SOB’s.

Dudley’s never been afraid to pull the trigger on a deal and I don’t believe that he or Ramsay have more than a 3-5 year horizon even if things were to go well in ATL and the team were to have success. I could be wrong but with this draft class not ballyhooed like the most recent classes, I think the risk is lower than it would have been 2, 3 years ago. I have a feeling Dudley is in a holding pattern waiting on one GM to act before he pulls the trigger on another deal. It’s been Dudley’s MO for a long time so until the trade deadline comes and goes, I full expect something to happen at some point.

Rawhide

February 10th, 2011
3:22 pm

The Nashville Predators acquired center Mike Fisher from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a 2011 first-round pick and a 2012 conditional draft pick, the team announced Thursday. WOW. Great move for the Preds. Leader. Blocks shots, hits, goals and assists.

Red Light – That is a very good deal for Nashville. It’s a very good deal for Fisher too, given he’s married to Carrie Underwood. I don’ know if she lives there or not, but being a country mucis artist I’m sure she’s there quite a bit. Maybe someone who is more “in tune” with the situation can let us know.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
3:23 pm

Alan R. & Old Time Hockey…

“Our first is valuable to us, right now, and we’re going to need something in return to justify giving it up. Something more than a Fisher.”

“Was Fisher worth a # 1 and conditional pick? 14 goals and 10 assists? Stats aren’t even as good as Peverly. Either of them worth a first?”

First off, he turns 31 in June. Second, he is a consistent performer, year in and year out and offers so much more than goals, assists and plus/minus stats suggest. The guy does everything on and off the ice and offers commitment, leadership, perseverance and a hot wife to sing the National Anthem.

This is exactly the kind of move that good bubble teams make. Nashville was assured of nothing, because despite their 5th-place standing, they are only three points out of ninth. Fisher is owed just $7 million over his last two years of his current deal. He can play in all situations and both center and wing. He has scored more than 22 goals in four of the past five seasons, and he wasn’t exactly playing on a team loaded with talent and something to play for this season.

Oh, and he hits, blocks shots, is decent in the face-off circle, isn’t a jerk and puts his team first.

Something more than a Fisher, like Mike Richards for example, you can’t get for a first-rounder, and a second- or third-rounder. I’d rather than have Fisher for four or five years than waiting on an 18-year old to become an NHL player, if ever. If he was 33, I could see your point, but he’s not.

A solid point by World Be Free. The Preds not only have players waiting, but they also have seven guys on the roster 23 or younger. Sound familiar? They also have $9 million in expiring UFA contracts and this kind of move might entice Weber to re-up long term rather than going to arbitration.

Great value for a great pro, and I think it was well thought out by Poile and Fenton. They’ll have Erat, Hornqvist, Lombardi, Legwand, Fisher, Suter and Rinne back next year, and that’s a nice core group if you add Weber to it.

R. Stroz…More Cowbell!

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
3:26 pm

Bill: I just love country mucis artists! LOL

I wasn’t too legible above either.

Rawhide

February 10th, 2011
3:32 pm

Red Light:lol: … uh, of course that would be….country muSIC artists.

LAC

February 10th, 2011
4:22 pm

WBF, Afraid you are right, These owners want the team to tank and do not want to spend anymore $. They, as we ALL know, could care less about NHL hockey. They want to unload it and they, I believe, are 25/75% leaving town, with the 75% leaving. It is so sad, that the Hockey fans of Atlanta have been SCREWED twice. First by that idiot cousins, is that moron still alive ? Hope NOT. Then these lying punks. I don’t see Bettman saving Atlanta, All the other SE teams are solid, you never hear of issues now. Then we are stuck with these idiots. I agree WBF, the Thrashers will do nothing
to improve the team, because the cheap lying owners will not allow it.

So why are they paying waddell a six figure income to do nothing ? Could save a lot by dumping that BUM, and why have a GM etc… Since they cannot do anything, just looks like the beginning of the end of NHL hockey here, and WE, THE FANS, deserve a Whole Lot Better than this CRAP !

JT from Columbus

February 10th, 2011
4:22 pm

Diego from Lilburn

February 10th, 2011
4:25 pm

Brendan, as you staff out the organization, please hire me as “Massage Therapist for the Blue Crew Girls”.

I’ll work cheap. I might even pay you.

LAC

February 10th, 2011
4:30 pm

Too Funny, This little bit was in a report coming out of Ottawa, Canada of all places, Do they know something we don’t ? Is it “that” bad up there ? But I cannot believe the people in Canada who wrote this artical… Believe Ottawa is in the Southeast ????

Hummm…. Moving to Richmond, Maybe Charlotte, no Birmingham, or could it be Savannah or Jacksonville ???? Is Asheville too small for the NHL ???? Those “Canada” fans really need a LIFE !

Nashville currently is five points behind first-place Detroit in the Central. Ottawa is last in the Southeast Division with 42 points.

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
5:00 pm

LAC-betcha Dudely could do alot if he could get near $50M. That was the number we all throught we would see spent last summer, remember when we were all guessing as to how much the club would spend?

We all want the team to be better, much better by we are not close to spending what it takes to field a competitive team supported by a farm system that could offer the odd player or two are league minimum or around to bolster the lineup.

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
5:03 pm

JT-please don’t let it be Connolly!

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
5:19 pm

Trato hecho, Diego from Lilburn. But, uhh. No fancy lubes! ?De acuerdo?

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
5:23 pm

WBF, isn’t Connolly on the last year of his deal, at $4 million, prorated? That might not be horrible. Just don’t give up anything good for him, since he’s one (1) hit away from a permanent drool cup, from concussions.

Smoothie

February 10th, 2011
5:27 pm

http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/columns/story?columnist=burnside_scott&id=6109488

A good read, and a fair assessment of the Thrashers’ bleak existence.

Brendan

February 10th, 2011
5:55 pm

I always enjoy Burnside articles. High praise of Dudley. I don’t know that he’s especially earned that yet. This team has lost 16 of its past 21 games. Is that ‘judging talent?’ Then again, it’s his first season here. The ownership isn’t helping matters. Etc.

Tom Lysiak

February 10th, 2011
6:07 pm

“Dudley, widely acknowledged as one of the best judges of hockey talent in the game, figures the Thrashers have 14 pieces “of what could be an elite team.”

Hmmm, now that is an interesting exercise to look at the current roster and pick Dudley’s 14 pieces.

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
6:27 pm

One day, somebody other than Ramsay or a player will admit to the flaws the organization has and provide an accurate appraisal.

“Yes, we have done some good things, but our fans deserve better than what we have done over the past 11 years, and specifically over the last 18 months. We feel we are making progress, but we have few top players in the minor leagues and our amateur scouting staff needs to find more good players for us to build a winner. Our professional scouts, and that includes me, need to do a better job of identifying players that fit our system and our budget, not only as we approach the deadline, but also in the future.”

That, I believe, is a bit more palatable than the same old drivel.

Lee

February 10th, 2011
6:55 pm

We already have great young talent. In fact, the majority of our team is young. I don’t think it’s wise to get another youngster now. Use the pick as trade bait…1st round is pretty decent and could get us something pretty good from the other teams. I think our main problem spot is leadership. With Enstrom out and all these other key players to our system, you can see a major drop in our playing performance…um, enough said. Getting a veteran just might give us that little extra boost we need.

Hope Duds will make the right choice…

GO THRASHERS

Joe Friday

February 10th, 2011
8:49 pm

“Hmmm, now that is an interesting exercise to look at the current roster and pick Dudley’s 14 pieces.”

Here’s my thought on his 14 pieces (in alphabetical order, forwards, dmen, and goalie):
Burmistrov, Cormier, Kane, Ladd, Little, Peverley, Slater, Thorburn, Bogosian, Byfuglien, Enstrom, Hainsey, Oduya, Pavelec

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
8:54 pm

Yeah Brendan, Connolly is in the last year of his most recent 2 year deal. Sabres and Timmy will part ways this year anyhow, just hope he does not end up here. Just think, we could have had Tim in the 1999 draft instead of taking Patricia.

Joe Friday

February 10th, 2011
9:04 pm

So the problem with that is that yes, there’s 14 core pieces to build with, but the fill ins you need are some glaring holes like #1 center and and #1 RW and #1 dman. Now mabye he is projecting Burmistrov as a #1 center, but how far away is Burmistrov from playing at that level? He hasn’t shown me he’s ready to play top line minutes for a couple years at least, mabye he’s projecting this for a couple years from now:

Kane-Burmistrov-RW
Ladd-Little-Peverley
LW-Cormier-RW
LW-Slater-Thorburn
#1 dman-Buf
Enstrom-Bogosian
Oduya-Hainsey
Pavs-G

What top line RW is out there for sale by a cap strapped club out of it? Who’s a top line UFA RW this summer?

Monisha

February 10th, 2011
9:18 pm

What we gonna do?

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
9:33 pm

Such a young team-half my wardrobe is older than this team, alot older.

World Be Free

February 10th, 2011
9:36 pm

Joe Friday, I hate to keep saying this but nothing happens without more money. I thought we would spend around $48-50 mil this season, which equates to at least 2 of the things you mentioned, a dman, top winger. But instead of Ruth’s Chris we are stuck with a Taco Bell budget.

Tom Lysiak

February 10th, 2011
10:11 pm

Joe Friday – Been out for a little while.

My first run at it was basically the same, almost. I had included Bergfors and had no room for Oduya. I think Johnny O belongs on it. I know Bergey was on the s- list for some time, but I had him included for his age and potential scoring ability (which might be a need here…..). I can’t argue forcefully either way, but the real call is Duds and I wonder what that is?

The glaring omission on both lists was Antro. I know he is already 30, but he has two more years on his deal I believe. Too bad he has been slowed by that injury all year. I imagine Duds would love to be able to turn him into a good, young asset if he could.

Tom Lysiak

February 10th, 2011
10:17 pm

Joe – One other thought. What if Duds had actually included a Klingberg or some other recent draftee? As you said, if he is projecting out a couple of years?

Red Light

February 10th, 2011
10:23 pm

Nearly the worst possible of nights. Only the Canes failed to gain a point.
Devils +2
Leafs +1
Panthers +1
Sabres +2
Habs +1
Isles +2
Flyers +2

That’s tough to watch for both the Rangers and the Thrashers when your idle.

Alan R.

February 10th, 2011
11:09 pm

RL – On the plus, the Canes are still only one point ahead, and after the NYR game, we play them.

By the end of the weekend, we could be three up on the Canes.

All that aside, we need to work hard, and all these games are suddenly MUST WIN games. Avoid the three point split if at all possible… but if we have to go there, we gotta take the bulk of ‘em.

LAC

February 10th, 2011
11:25 pm

WBF, correct, I just wish they would Try to win and spend some $.

Red Light spelled it out, more darn 3 point games that are KILLING US. Now NJ is only 10-12 back and coming on strong, see who scored the WINNER in Toronto tonight…. YUCK !

Acer

February 11th, 2011
1:14 am

I think that Buffalo wants NHL bodies back for Connolly. He doesn’t have a good season but he’s part of the secondary scoring department.

Which of Atlanta’s talented youngsters has upside and high potential:
Kane…a 40 G, 80 P scorer in the future, maybe more
Little…ex-30 G man, 60-70 P upside
Bogosian…IMO the player with the most upside. Chelios V2.0
Pavelec…had the ability to build on his success earlier this season.

That’s not a lot of elite talent + some isn’t fully developed, yet. I don’t count Enstrom, Buff and Ladd, because all three are closer to being UFA’s than the rest of the list.

The development (living up to upside) of Bogosian, Burmistrov (IMO not a high scoring upside which is why I didn’t list him) and Little is crucial for the Thrashers. You don’t go very far in the NHL without center & D-man depth. I question the quality of the current prospects, which why I want to retain ATL’s 2011 1st rounder. Currently, that’s the 11th overall pick. Center or D-man would be my ideal choice. Possible names as of right now: Ryan Strome (C), Mika Zibanejad (C), Duncan Siemens (D) or Dougie Hamilton (D.)

Brendan

February 11th, 2011
1:54 am

Rawhide, with your permission, we go to the Onion News Network, for some BREAKING NEWS on your Atlanta Thrashers.

Brooke Alvarez: “Put your hands in the air and spread your legs wide, you’re entering the ‘Factzone,’ where security checks are always mandatory. At the Onion News Network, we’re news without Mercy! We have some BREAKING NEWS for you puckheads out here. Bruce Levenson stunned the world today by ‘coming out’ as a BAD OWNER. Our field reporter, Jane Carmichael, has more. Take it away, Jane.”

Jane Carmichael: “Thanks Brooke. I’m standing here in front of the league offices of the National Hockey League, which was all a BUZZ today amid the shocking confession of Atlanta Thrashers part-owner Bruce Levenson … that he’s a really bad owner.”

Brooke: “I see. Can you shed anymore light on the causes behind this ’startling confession?’”

Jane: “Yes Brooke. I took some time out to interview Bruce. Let’s go to the video footage.”

… “So Bruce, why have you ‘come out?’ Why now? And what’s it like to be an OPENLY BAD sports owner?”

Bruce Levenson: “Well Jane. There’s never really a wrong moment to start telling the truth. I haven’t been forthright about things, for many YEARS, really.”

Jane Carmichael: “I see. Uhh, tell us how you arrived at this personal epiphany?”

Bruce Levenson: “Well, ya see Jane. I’m uhhh … not good. Not good, at all, at what I do. And to cover it up, I sue everyone around me in an attempt to make it appear as if it’s THEIR fault, instead of mine.”

Jane Carmichael: “And how’s that working out for you?”

Bruce: “Well, I don’t like to comment on pending litigation.”

Jane Carmichael: “That’s probably smart of you. By the way, how’s that suit going against K-Mart, for those insufficient in quality and duration … vibrating plastic pony rides they sometimes have in their storefront areas?”

Bruce Levenson: “Asked and answered Jane. I have no comment on pending litigation.”

Jane Carmichael: “Alrighty then. Uhh, so … what’s next for Bruce Levenson?”

Bruce Levenson: “Attorney fees. And more attorney fees, if I lose. Whenever something doesn’t go my way, I sue or counter-sue to recover my losses.”

Jane Carmichael: “Including suing your own counsel??”

Bruce Levenson: “Missteps were made, Jane. By THEM. They must pay, like PizzaHut (TM) just did, when I recovered damages from them over what was ‘a pathetic attempt’ on their part at making a double-cheese pizza.”

Jane Carmichael: “I’m just glad you could reach an out of court settlement.”

Bruce Levenson: “Me too, Jane. Me, too.”

Jane Carmichael: “Well, that wraps it up from here, Brooke. ‘Outed’ bad sports owner Bruce Levenson, a man finally coming to terms with himself. Back to you, Brooke.”

Brooke: “Well, it’s nice to him finally taking some responsibility for his many misdeeds. Any word on an increased budget for his fast plummeting hockey team?”

Jane Carmichael: “Brooke, Bruce said, and I quote, ‘I wouldn’t be ‘a Bad sports owner,’ if I went around FIXING things, or making them better.”

Brooke Alvarez: “Very good, then. That’s a point well taken. Great job, as always. And remember, Jane, smiling too much brings out your crows feet on HD television.”

Jane Carmichael: Jaw agaped, looks disgustedly at the camera, outraged.

Brooke Alvarez: “In a related story, the Florida Panthers said the Atlanta Thrashers are nothing more that ‘copycat wannabees,’ when in comes to being a lousy-run franchise. We’ll be sure to stay on top of that story, as it develops. Stay here, with the Onion News Network. We’re always with you–even when you ‘think’ you’re alone.”

Lee

February 11th, 2011
7:01 am

We’ve been very lucky not to have dropped down any further than we have. We are very thankful that Carolina keeps losing….

World Be Free

February 11th, 2011
7:37 am

LAC-when it comes down to it, that missing $7M in payroll is probably what will keep this team from making the playoffs. For me, I would consider the $7M as investment in the future of the team, rebuilding the fanbase and getting the types of crowds the Thrashers had the first 4 years. All this while we have an ECHL team in our backyard. Objective members of the media would then consider Atlanta a legitimate NHL town, not the slander that has been thrown our direction the last 2-3 years. Just trying to look at the big picture.

Acer-not sure what Buffalo wants back for Connolly, I think they would take picks becuase the Sabres have some young forwards on the way up. The kid Byron looks good, Zach Kassian in juniors and Luke Adam in Portland. All depends on who the next GM in Buffalo is-Darcy Regier has 2 more years but I keep hearing Craig Patrick’s name as the next GM or maybe even club president for the Sabres. Look for Buffalo to sign a top line UFA July 1.

World Be Free

February 11th, 2011
7:40 am

Red Light-if we are going to make playoffs we are going to have to earn it. And here comes Jersey in the rear view mirror. If the Devils make playoffs from where they were then I will tip my hat to them cuz they would have earned it.

Rawhide

February 11th, 2011
7:43 am

G’mornin’, Thrasherville. Big weekend of hockey on tap for us as the Thrashers look to go from “Rags” to riches.

R. Stroz

February 14th, 2011
8:21 am

Rawhide

February 17th, 2011
10:05 am

R. Stroz – Nope.